Affordability Report Spotlights Key Obstacle to College
“Working your way” through school is not an option for many families
A college affordability study looking at Louisville and Kentucky higher education colleges found that “all too often, the numbers just won’t add up” when it comes to Louisville families wanting to send a student to college, without resorting to loans.
While “working your way” through college is often held up as an ideal for students, this report examined what that would realistically look like for ten hypothetical college students and found that it was unrealistic for many of them.
This illuminating approach was adapted from the Institute for Higher Education’s methodology from their recent “Limited Means, Limited Opportunity” report and uses the Lumina Foundation’s Rule of 10 to measure affordability, by comparing potential savings and part-time job earnings to net cost.
• Only two of the ten hypothetical students could afford to go to any Louisville college using savings and “working their way” through school, without taking out loans.
• Only one of the 10 could afford any Kentucky four-year public college.
• Even the students from families making six figures could not afford every school in the state, without loans.
The Lumina “Rule of Ten” defined “affordable” in simple terms. It assumes that:
• Families save 10 percent of their discretionary income for each of the 10 years leading up to college.
• Students work 10 hours a week while going to college.
Those savings and earnings are then compared to the “net tuition” at Kentucky and regional public and private schools.
Bottomline: The report stresses that this is not a statistical look at Jefferson County families, but it nevertheless examines what “affordable” would look like for different families at different income levels. The result was clear. Many families, of all income levels, will struggle to pay for college without debt.
Insider Louisville (Newcomers Academy): https://insiderlouisville.com/metro/after-horrors-of-syria-and-yemen-esl-newcomer-teens-try-to-find-peace-in-louisville/